Columbus (IN) Firefighters, EMS Chip in to Replace Patient’s Shoes

By Mike Wilson

On Saturday December 5, 2015, Columbus (IN) firefighters from Station 1, along with Columbus Regional Health EMS unit 1, responded to a report of a female with an injury in the 1200 block of Franklin St. After arriving on the scene and making a rapid trauma assessment, it was obvious to the responders that the injury was severe and the patient would require transportation to the hospital.

To fully assess the injury, firefighters were forced to remove a shoe by cutting it off of the injured foot. Following the removal of the now destroyed shoe, crews were able to further assess the injury and transport the patient to the hospital. The female patient told the responders that she had just recently purchased the shoes from a local retailer and was heartbroken over the loss of the new pair of shoes.

Firefighters and EMS personnel , thankful that the patient would soon receive the needed medical care, wanted to do something more. That’s when they visited the store where the shoes were purchased, White River Running Company Inc. Owner Brady Legge told responders that she was familiar with the customer after they presented the destroyed shoe for inspection. According to Legge, the female customer frequents the store while walking through the downtown area. Legge stated, “ As soon as I saw the shoe, I knew who the firefighters were talking about. She is a sweet lady.”

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Responders told Legge that they wanted to purchase a pair of shoes to replace the ones that they were forced to damage during the emergency call. Legge also wanted to assist the emergency responders and did so by reducing the price of the shoes.  Firefighters and EMS personnel chipped in and purchased a gift card which they immediately delivered to the hospital.

“I’m really proud of everyone that stepped up today,” said Columbus Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Ziegler. “They went the extra mile and made a difference. That’s what being a firefighter is all about.” Battalion Chief Ziegler is the commanding officer for B-shift firefighters. According to Battalion Chief Ziegler, 12 public safety responders contributed to the purchase of the gift card, 10 Columbus Firefighters and two Columbus Regional Health EMS personnel. Only three of the of the 10 contributing firefighters responded to the actual incident.

Mike Wilson is a captain and spokesman for the Columbus (IN) Fire Department.

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